Inaccurate reporting

An inaccurate claim in a science article.

NASA Discovered a “Mini” Moon Orbiting Earth

Hmm – kinda – yes no.

Technically, the earth’s field of gravity is infinite, and there is an orbital point at which the effects of the earth’s gravity field become less than those of the sun, requiring the primary orbit of a body to then be about the sun, rather than about the earth And the effects of earth’s gravity diminish with the square of the distance (as with all entities – as a flux through the area of the expanding sphere present at any specific distance. And for the purposes of calculation, we ignore the other bodies once their effect is sufficiently small – which is not the same thing as saying those influences are not there, they are there, they are just less than the errors of measurement of our best tools.

So this asteroid is in a complex orbit that primarily orbits the sun, and can also be seen to orbit the earth in two different planes.

And yes – it is also an example of journalistic hyperbole – one more cross against the effects of markets – their tendency to distort facts to improve sales (the prime reason I have not bought a newspaper since 1984).

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
This entry was posted in Nature and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s